Hike, not WhatsApp, becomes India's first messenger app with payment wallet feature

Kavin Bharti Mittal chief executive officer and founder of Hike

Kavin Bharti Mittal chief executive officer and founder of Hike

Hike Messenger has launched the new Hike 5.0 featuring Hike Wallet, the first payment feature in a messaging app.

Hike said its wallet will allow instant money transfer among its clients and enable fund transfer to banks using the government-backed United Payments Interface (UPI) system. It's not clear if Hike has tied-up with certain telcos for this, and if so then which telcos, or if it will work irrespective of the user's network provider.

In an endeavour to stay true to its promise of simplifying how people connect and interact with content and services on mobile, Hike Messenger announced the launch of Hike 5.0 on Tuesday in New Delhi, with the biggest update being Hike Wallet, the mobile payment feature. Users can choose from 10 well-crafted virtual envelopes and add their personal message to it. Users can now recharge their phones and pay their postpaid bill using the latest version. "Hike 5.0 is our most ambitious step in that direction till date", added Kavin Bharti Mittal. However, the Hike 5.0 update will be rolled out to all the Android and iOS users by Sunday.

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Interestingly, Chinese social media and instant messaging service WeChat has a similar feature called Red Packets, which allows users to send money across either to individuals or groups with some yuan (Chinese RMB) assigned to them. "With Hike 5.0 you can personalize your Hike world", said founder and CEO Hike Messenger, Kavin Bharti Mittal.

Last but not the least, version 5 of Hike is reintroducing the app's social network-like features, which took a hike previous year, when Snapchat-esque Stories (48 hours and not 24 hours) was launched. Can money be the new Sticker?

Immediately on opening Hike 5.0, one can notice the new, slick look and feel. Our users celebrate so many special moments in their lives. With just a tap, using Machine Learning techniques, Hike's camera now smoothens your skin and makes it radiant from any angle, making every single picture of yours count. "We hope with Blue Packets we can give our users a new avenue to express themselves". Hike has also brought the original Timeline back.

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Hike, which claims more than 100 million registered users, has stolen a march on Facebook-owned WhatsApp, which is widely expected to roll out a UPI-based P2P payments service in India in the next few months.

E-payments have surged in India since a shock ban of high-value bank notes in November past year.

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